Dominus vobiscum, pilgrims!
A couple of weeks ago I got to meet very briefly Imran Khan during the promotional tour of his latest movie, ‘I Hate Luv Storys‘. As I said back then, not only was he a nice guy, but also a new emerging talent within Indian Film. Yesterday was the turn to meet his uncle, Aamir Khan, during an early screening of his newly produced film, ‘Peepli Live‘:
(what were the odds that I’d shoot Uncle & nephew in a screening room on different occasions? I had to get him to look up because a: I hate using flash and b: that spotlight was the only real light source! )
For those not in the know, Aamir Khan is one of those rare actors who plays his so role so well, you forget he’s acting. He actually brings the character to life and he somehow pulls it off flawlessly. He was so convincing in 1998’s ‘1947: Earth‘, that I had to tell him point blank yesterday that “the character you portrayed in 1947? You played the part so well, you really were a b******d in that film, you know!!“. He actually agreed with me on that statement. That’s how good an actor he is. He’s acted, produced and directed in Indian films which are already considered as classics, and I’d recommend you watch ‘Lagaan’ (2001); ‘Dil Chatha Hai’ (2002); ‘Rang De Basanti’ (2006); Taare Zameen Par (2007). Personally, it’d be wrong to categorise him as ‘Bollywood star’. He’s an actor first & foremost, and just getting to chat with him yesterday without any of the fanfare that comes when meeting certain ‘A-listers’ was a real eye-opener. He’s one of the few ‘serious’ actors that I’ve always wanted to meet and have a chat with. Now that I have, next on the list is Kamal Haasan. LEGEND!!!!
As for ‘Peepli Live‘, the film is a satire highlighting the plight of poor rural Indian farmers who are so desperate due to their predicament, that committing suicide in order to have government compensation for their family seems the only solution. We also have an idea behind the mindset of political and governmental bureaucracy and self interest, and let’s not forget the ravenous behaviour of the media in the pursuit of ‘good story’ and thus blinding themselves from the real issues right in front of them. The movie is not what I would classify as a ‘generic’ Bolllywood movie. Rather, in my opinion, I would call it a ‘socio-documentary’ to bring an awareness of migration, poverty, class and caste divide and political incompetence. This film could well have been set anywhere in the world, in particular Nigeria, and I could still relate to it. My verdict? Watch the film. Release date is in late September.